Regardless of the reason, a successful timber harvest that meets landowner goals begins with a forest resource professional developing a plan. Timber harvesting is a time when landowners can improve their woods for what they value, such as enhancing wildlife habitat, or cause real damage from which the woods might not recover for generations.
A new publication from Penn State Extension titled, “Timber Sales: A Guide to Selling Timber,” is available to help landowners understand how timber sales are conducted. This 12-page publication outlines a seven-step process. “It will assist forest landowners in understanding how a timber sale is conducted and how to retain the services of a forestry professional,” said Dave Jackson, forestry educator and publication co-author. “It is not a definitive how-to guide as much of the process will depend on each specific situation.”
Timber harvesting is not a process to be entered into lightly. Harvests involve complex decisions across many issues, including ecology, forest operations, business, law, taxes, marketing and negotiation. Harvests have both short- and long-term consequences for the landowner and the forest. This publication is a first step in helping landowners understand some of these consequences and how they can ensure a successful outcome.
Selling timber is complicated and requires substantial investments in time and a thorough understanding of the industry. Timber sales have the potential to impact site productivity, wildlife habitat, water quality, aesthetics, income, taxes, estate planning — the list goes on. Those lacking the proper level of experience should use this publication as a reference to understand how foresters can help and what they strive to accomplish on the landowner’s behalf.
A satisfactory harvest experience is no accident; it is the result of thoughtful planning and hard work. Planning is critical to ensuring a positive outcome, one that meets landowner objectives and sustainability guidelines. To ensure a successful timber sale, landowners must have a clear understanding of the process, this new Extension publication can help.
The publication, “Timber Sales: A Guide to Selling Timber,” is available as a free downloadable PDF; printed copies are available for purchase. To view the full publication, visit https://extension.psu.edu/timber-sales-a-guide-to-selling-timber or call 877-345-0691.